ActivumSG sells three shopping centres for €140m in Spain

28th May 2024

  • Pan-European real estate private equity firm ActivumSG has completed the sale of three separate high quality shopping centres in Barcelona, Caceres and Bilbao
  • The assets all benefited from a transformational program of hands-on proactive management, tenant engagement and strategic capital expenditure
  • This resulted in significant improvements to both tenant sales figures and footfall, exceeding levels seen before the onset of Covid-19

(London and Madrid): ActivumSG, a leading independent pan-European real estate investment manager, has completed the sale of three retail assets in Barcelona, Caceres and Bilbao for a combined sum of approximately €140 million. The portfolio has been acquired from ActivumSG-advised Iberia Fund I by an undisclosed buyer.

The portfolio comprises three shopping centres that were acquired in separate transactions by ActivumSG before Covid-19:

  • The SOM Multeispai (‘SOM’), a 388,000 sq ft GLA shopping centre in Barcelona
  • The Centro Commercial Ruta de la Plata (‘Ruta’), a 191,000 sq ft GLA shopping centre in Caceres
  • The Centro Commercial Zubiarte (‘Zubiarte’) a 240,000 sq ft GLA shopping centre in Bilbao

At acquisition, the three assets were each characterized by under-management, high vacancy rates and declining net operating income, even prior to the onset of the pandemic-related restrictions in 2020. ActivumSG executed a substantial transformation program through hands-on active management including, throughout the pandemic, robust tenant engagement and strategic capital expenditure initiatives.

Consequently, the three assets experienced notable improvements in sales and foot traffic, surpassing pre-Covid-19 levels. Despite a continued challenging retail environment, even in 2023, the portfolio saw a significant uptick in performance, boasting net rental growth of +11.7% and a footfall increase of +9.0% compared to the previous year. Notably, sales increased by +10.7% during this period.

Saul Goldstein, CEO and founder, ActivumSG, said: This is what we love doing at ActivumSG as part of our direct real estate strategy. Using our vertically integrated capabilities and full lifecycle expertise, we turnaround underutilised, high potential assets to create an end-product suitable for core buyers. Our local Spanish team deserves massive recognition, both in terms of its ability to identify the potential of these shopping centres and its ability to execute an extensive cap-ex program to unlock their potential from an asset management perspective.”

Brian Betel, Head of Direct Asset Transactions, ActivumSG, said: “After the acquisitions, we embarked on an intensive yet thoughtful program of hands-on asset management, involving extensive tenant engagement and targeted capital expenditure. This resulted in the repositioning of each asset to optimize layouts, enhance footfall and create appealing shopping destinations by refining the retail offerings. This program included the provision of new customer access, additional family-oriented areas and the improvement of the internal flow of the assets with new escalators and elevators.”

“We continue to evaluate the Spanish real estate market, seeking out undervalued opportunities particularly in the residential and hospitality sectors, where there is an under-supply of institutional-grade product as well as high-quality but mispriced retail assets.”

These sales closely follow other recent disposals by ActivumSG in Spain, including the Hampton by Hilton Fira Gran Via in Barcelona—a ground-up development strategically positioned near a major business conference area, completed in 2021—and the Palacio Solecio hotel in Malaga. The latter, formerly a derelict 18th-century Andalusian palace, underwent conversion by the firm into a boutique luxury hotel over two construction phases, culminating in its full opening in 2023 and sale last month.


About ActivumSG

ActivumSG is one of Europe’s largest independent real estate investment managers with a proven track record of successful opportunistic and value-add strategies. The manager invests across the capital stack via direct real estate investments, corporate platforms and special situations in order to maximise risk-adjusted returns

Founded by ex-Cerberus private equity real estate veteran Saul Goldstein, ActivumSG has raised close to €3 billion in discretionary capital from a global mix of institutional investors since 2007.

ActivumSG executes a sector-agnostic strategy and is willing to take a contrarian stance, identifying real estate-related opportunities with strong underlying fundamentals that have been mispriced or overlooked by the market.

The company prides itself on having a truly local approach to investing, with a decentralised leadership team spread across offices in Germany, Spain, Denmark, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom.

ActivumSG directly and indirectly employs and oversees over 290 professionals, who advise on investments with a combined gross asset value and end development value of over €8 billion.

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